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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tobacco, alcohol tax hikes
  • [02] 17 migrant smuggling deaths
  • [03] Stocks end 0.76% higher

  • [01] Tobacco, alcohol tax hikes

    A new tax regime for asset transfers from parents to their children - which will be finalised after completion of a so-called "social dialogue" over proposed changes to the country's tax system -- is foreseen in an amendment tabled in Parliament by the finance ministry late Thursday evening.

    The same amendment also envisages higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

    The late-night amendment stipulates that tax on gifts or parental asset transfers will be calculated under an existing status but on temporary basis. Final settlement will be made under a new law, following deliberations between the government and so-called "social partners".

    A finance ministry statement, issued on Friday, referred to the current PASOK government's policy statement as well as comments by the prime minister - on Dec. 13 -- advocating a reinstitution of inheritance, gift and parental asset transfer taxes. The ministry press release also opined that the measure was fair.

    Under the amendment, tabled in Parliament, the government will raise the special consumption tax on cigarettes from 57.5 pct to 70 pct and on alcohol by 20 pct, a move aimed at reaching the average tax rates prevailing in the EU. The new taxes will be valid from Jan. 12 and Jan. 8, respectively.

    The ministry said it estimates that the measures will raise an additional 930 million euros annually from tobacco products, and around 70 million euros from alcohol.

    [02] 17 migrant smuggling deaths

    A total of 17 bodies have been recovered from a sea region off extreme northeast Greece following what authorities believe was the New Year's Eve sinking of a vessel loaded with illegal migrants.

    Four bodies, including one of a toddler, were recovered on Friday after a fishing boat notified the coast guard. The bodies of 12 men, four women and the toddler have so far been located in the specific sea region of the Thrace Gulf, in a triangle comprised of the port city of Alexandroupolis and the islands of Thassos and Samothrace.

    Search efforts are continuing in the area.

    Greece is increasingly being targetted by migrant smugglers attempting to ferry mostly Third World migrants into the European Union member-state from neighbouring Turkey, an issue that has recently generated heated reaction from both Athens and the EU.

    [03] Stocks end 0.76% higher

    Stocks continued moving higher for the third consecutive session this week, pushing the composite index of the Athens Stock Exchange to 2,327.57 points. The index ended 0.76 pct higher in moderate turnover of 211.784 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.97 pct, the FTSE 40 index eased 0.06 pct and the FTSE 80 index fell 0.49 pct. The Telecommunications (2.11 pct) and Travel (1.86 pct) indexes scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Food/Beverage (1.0 pct) and Personal Products (0.75 pct) suffered losses.

    Lanakam (19.77 pct), Elfico (19.75 pct), Plias (11.11 pct), Texapret (10.0 pct) and Fashion Box (9.86 pct) were top gainers, while Nikas (9.62 pct), Eurobrokers (8.48 pct), Kathimerini (6.48 pct), Euroholdings (5.56 pct) and Livanis (5.62 pct) were top losers. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 99 to 90 with another 51 issues unchanged.

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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